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Israel-Hamas war: UN calls for immediate humanitarian ceasefire, says ‘Enough is Enough. This must…’


Israel-Hamas War: With more than a month of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, the United Nations on Monday reiterated its demand for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza and said that keeping an entire population besieged, under attack and denied access to amenities is “unacceptable.”

In the UN Geneva statement by ‘Principals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory’, it wrote on X (formerly Twitter), “We need an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. It’s been thirty days. Enough is enough. This must stop now. Heads of 18 UN agencies and NGOs issue a joint statement on #Gaza.”

The watchdog in the statement added that the October 7 attack on Israel doesn’t justify the “horrific killings” of even more civilians in Gaza and cutting off 2.2 million Palestinians from amenities. It further stated that more aid including food, water, medicines, and fuel needs to enter Gaza and an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” is needed.

“For almost a month, the world has been watching the unfolding situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory in shock and horror at the spiralling numbers of lives lost and tom apart,” the UN statement read.

The Palestinian death toll, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, has exceeded 10,000. Additionally, around 1,400 Israelis have lost their lives, with the majority being civilians who were killed during the incursion by Hamas on October 7 which marked the beginning of the war

Coming back to the statement, it wrote, “An entire population is besieged and under attack, denied access to the essentials for survival, bombed in their homes, shelters, hospitals and places of worship. This is unacceptable.”

It emphasised that over 100 attacks against health care have been reported. Scores of aid workers have been killed since October 7 including 88 UNRWA colleagues — the highest number of United Nations fatalities ever recorded in a single conflict.

“We renew our plea for the parties to respect all their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law,” the UN stated.

It added, “We renew our call for the immediate and unconditional release of all civilians held hostage”.

The global agency stated that civilians and the infrastructure they rely on, including hospitals, shelters and schools, must be protected. “More aid including food, water, medicine and of course fuel — must enter Gaza safely, swiftly and at the scale needed, and must reach people in need, especially women and children, wherever they are,” the UN statement read.

“We need an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. It’s been 30 days. Enough is enough. This must stop now,” it wrote

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also expressed concerns over the situation in Middle East over the “clear violations of international humanitarian law”.

“I am deeply concerned about clear violations of international humanitarian law that we are witnessing in the Middle East. The protection of civilians must be paramount. They are #NotATarget. Nobody is above international humanitarian law,” Guterres posted on X.

Israel initiated military action against Hamas after the terror group conducted a brutal attack on October 7, resulting in the deaths of 1,400 individuals in Israel and the kidnapping of more than 240 people. In retaliation, Israel launched an air and ground offensive in Gaza with the aim of eliminating the militant group.

Meanhile, after more than a week of public pressure from the US for “humanitarian pauses” in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has allowed that his government might be open to only “little pauses” in its assault on Hamas. Since the opening of Rafah crossing, a total of 476 trucks carrying humanitarian aid has entered Gaza. On average, around 30 trucks per day have been granted passage, although the Palestinian Red Crescent Society emphasized once again that fuel supplies have yet to be allowed into the Gaza Strip, CNN report stated. 

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Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.